Occupational Therapists working in paediatric Long Term-ventilation : A Clinical Interest Group
August 21, 2017
Hospital to Home

It has been nearly 3 months since the inaugural meeting of Occupational Therapists who have a special clinical interest in long term ventilated children.  The day was hosted at Royal Brompton Hospital and topics included buggies, travelling, the Hospital to Home pathway and maintaining a network in between our meetings.

We were a small but representative group – from Newcastle to Brighton, Nottingham, Oxford and a few different London Centres – and the day was reviewed very well.  “Peer support” was the most consistent message from the feedback, with “networking”, “sharing with all LTV OTs”, “sharing ideas and “talking to other therapists” specifically identified as the most useful aspects of the day.

The day kicked off with an introduction to the Hospital to Home pathway from Alex McClements (Children’s LTV Nurse) which led neatly into the Housing Assessment form developed by the team.  The form is hosted in the Hospital to Home pathway and it was discussed further with the group – its conception, points of reference, development and trial.  Some of the Occupational Therapists present had used the pathway and the Home Assessment form previously, some had used neither, and feedback from all was most valuable and taken back to be implemented within the service; indeed one therapist commented that “the pathway presentation was so useful and relevant.”

Unfortunately some centres were not able to attend the study day so our session on travelling was a group discussion.  We shared the recommendations we usually make to families and the resources we use – the group was in agreement with recommendations suggested and I think it is fair to say that everyone took away more information about services and resources available to therapists and families following discussion.

The presentation on buggies soon became a critique of various high street and specialist buggies, as each therapist and service had experience, between us, of the most commonly requested and provided buggies.  The group noted that funding for buggies is a very challenging area as the most common charities are no longer funding high-street buggies and yet more specialised buggies often provide excessive seating needs and the families have to wait many weeks between order and delivery.

Our final discussion was about a Wiki page for Occupational Therapists working with long term ventilated children and whether this was useful for the group.  It was agreed that this was the best way to share information going forwards as it has a forum/discussion board which suited our needs for communication.  Various information sections of the page were allocated with a representative to clean-up and add relevant information.

We finished the day agreeing on a date to reconvene next year and Clare kindly agreed to host in Nottingham!  Topics going forwards were suggested as

  • Addressing the child’s developmental needs on long hospital stays
  • Research and evidence

Thank you to all that made the effort to attend and to those that sent information in their absence.  If you would like to express an interest in this professional group then please do not hesitate to contact me.